The Forest Service is working to improve its contributions to the economic health of communities by delivering scientifically-based, quality environmental analysis that leads to informed land management decision making. Here are some of the accomplishments that we’ve realized during the first year of EADM and a look at what’s coming.
The hard truths and new ideas brought to light during a Forest Service national meeting in September 2017 lay at the core of what quickly became the Environmental Analysis and Decision Making (EADM) effort.
The Forest Service is aiming to the increase efficiency and reduce the costs of EADM to get more work done on the ground using the best available science.
One-year later, we reflect on all that we have accomplished and gear up for the work that awaits us in the year ahead.
- Cadres (employee groups across the nation) have been engaging at all levels of the agency and networking with one another to identify and share ideas, innovations, and opportunities.
- The National Forest Foundation and the Forest Service have been developing a strategy to engage partners in EADM topic areas that emerged from the roundtables, detailed in the EADM National Findings and Leverage Points Report.
- In January 2018, we published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to invite public comment on the agency’s intent to update our National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 processes.
- To improve consultation with other federal agencies under the Endangered Species Act of 1972, we’re improving training, developing new tools, and clarifying how we determine which type of environmental analysis we do.
- We’re increasing the efficiency of compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and developing improved ways to protect cultural resources on National Forest System lands
- Realizing the potential complexity of environmental analysis under NEPA, we’ve developed new training courses.
As we enter year two, we’re building on past and ongoing EADM efforts and innovations to continue to transform our culture, policies, and procedures.
- We are preparing to share a series of policy and guidance letters regarding our environmental analysis processes.
- We anticipate publishing the proposed revisions to our NEPA policies and procedures in early 2019.
- Training on various aspects of EADM will continue to be a priority during the coming year as we develop courses related to NEPA, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and NHPA policies and procedures.
- Revised NEPA directives and regulations have been drafted and are currently under review.
- We’re developing an interactive mapping tool to display, share, and store EADM innovations, and we’re exploring an EADM story map and dashboard to improve internal and external communication.
- We’re partnering with the Office of Personnel Management Innovation Lab to help ensure lasting and meaningful change in the culture, processes, and behaviors that drive environmental analysis and decision making.
After examining and learning from the past, we are creating a new future—one that effectively uses the skill and talent of our employees and improves upon processes to sustain the health and diversity of National Forest System forests and grasslands. We aim to be responsive to the American people in ways that are timelier and less costly, while maintaining a commitment to high-quality environmental analysis based on the best available science.